Solving America’s #SupplyChain Issue Starts with Training More Truck Drivers Safely and Efficiently

Jul 26, 2022

With a new wave of disruptions expected to stall significant parts of the American economy in the coming months, the logistics of keeping supply chain issues to a minimum once again hinges on the ability to train and hire truckers. America is currently short of an estimated 80,000 commercial licensed drivers, with those numbers expected to double by 2028.

The trucking industry has faced significant challenges in recruiting new members due to demographics, generational changes, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic that sent every industry into a spiral as the economy went through major adjustments. Newly trained truck drivers also face roadblocks to a high paying job due to the lack of examiners causing a backlog of up to three months or more. Commercial driver testing delays have resulted in over $1.5 billion in economic losses across the United States, and even greater losses can be expected in the future if major changes are not put in place.

The solution to these problems starts with hiring and training more truck drivers. As part of our commitment to safely getting more drivers on the road, CVTA members are recruiting and training a new generation of drivers. In order to keep this mission alive, federal workforce development programs like WIOA need to be reauthorized, funded, and enhanced to meet the demand for truck drivers. Third party testing should also be implemented in every state as this accommodation has been proven to reduce delays in testing, which means students can obtain their CDLs quickly and avoid delays. Finally, opening up CDLs to those who are 18-20 is another way of ensuring the need for drivers is met. While all these implementations must be done with safety at the forefront, these policy changes are essential.

Because our consumer-based economy is not likely to slow down, the demand for more truckers is unlikely to subside anytime soon. While supply-chain disruptions are an inevitability with the changing landscape, there are substantial steps that can be taken to put additional truckers safely on the road.

Andrew Poliakoff

Andy Poliakoff is the Executive Director for CVTA. In this role, he promotes the mission of the membership organization and implements goals set by the Board of Directors. This includes forming partnerships with external stakeholders, providing guidance and direction to the CVTA staff team, and engaging with state and federal government agencies to advance CVTA’s mission of safety and career opportunities in the truck driver training industry.

In 2021 and 2022, Andy acted as federal affairs lead for Electrify America, interacting at high levels within Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the White House. In that capacity, he played a pivotal role in the optimization of large-scale infrastructure funding at the Federal Highway Administration as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

From 2019 to 2021 Andy served as Director of Gov't Affairs for CVTA and formed a strong bond with members, engaging on advocacy related to Entry-Level Driver Training, Skills Testing Delays, and Workforce funding. During the pandemic, Andy fought at the state and federal level to treat CDL training and testing as the essential services they are. He is personally invested in the important mission of CVTA's members to deliver safe training and to transform people's lives through truck driving careers.

Andy holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University.

Cindy Atwood

Cindy Atwood is the Vice President at CVTA. An experienced association professional, Cindy handles all activities related to membership retention, financial accounting and committee engagement. Cindy artfully produces CVTA’s off-site biannual conferences, Hill Day operations and Board meetings, ensuring that the general membership and leadership’s necessities and wishes are met with the highest response.

An essential fixture in the truck driver training association space, Cindy manages CVTA’s Instructor Certification Program and provides critical counsel to new entrants into the truck driver training industry.

Kyle Hayes

Kyle Hayes is the Director of Government Relations at CVTA. In this role, he leads the implementation of the Association’s legislative and regulatory strategy. He is also the primary point of contact between CVTA Members and federal agencies, Congress, and state governments.

Hayes most recently led research projects that supported federal and state advocacy on healthcare and economic issues at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nationally recognized research and policy institute based in Washington D.C. He received a master’s degree in public policy from American University in 2015 and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2012.